Category Archives: General

Where Are the Video Games for Adults?

Does learning end when you get older?

That would seem to be the case based on a festival held in NY. I generally don’t write about education, but the coverage for developers that want to create games that effect change got me thinking about why mostly all of them were for children.

Educational games bring in about a little over $8 billion to the U.S. economy. At a high level, the industry would agree that educational titles are truly complementing book learning and traditional classrooms.

But hearing these important folks giving this festival, I picked up on something in the discussions: Educational games were always implied to be for kids.

Don’t get me wrong. There were a few games shown at the festival that were geared in a way to teach adult concepts that may or may not matter in an adult’s life. The most efficient one for me was Parable of the Polygons, which energetically showed how small individual prejudices can, in aggregate, allow segregation.

But what about an upfront lesson? You might want to take another shot at calculus, figure out what happened in the Civil War, or learn code, yet you haven’t set foot in a classroom in years. Sure, you can watch an online lecture or read a book. But I’d bet plenty of the educational games you’ll see are obviously for the younger crowd.

The closest thing to what I’m talking about (some educational/learning tool or app for adults) is possibly Duolingo, a well-known mobile app for learning new languages.

But that’s just one subject. The gaming industry really feels that its software can alter our brains and not just satisfy parents who are anxious about their child’s homework. The bottom line is there’s a big untapped group of adult dummies that want to learn too.

Why Little Girls Love All the Different Disney Princesses

Looking for her prince!

Being the mom of a girly girl can be interesting for a tomboy mom like myself. But when it comes to princesses, I do have a soft side. As a mama who is raising multi-cultural children, I love that we’re seeing diverse Disney princesses in which my daughter can see herself reflected not only as a girl of color, but also as a girl who can dream limitlessly about who she wants to be when she grows up.

There are many reasons to love these different Disney princesses that go beyond their ethnicity and skin color. I’m sure many families will relate to them in many ways. For us, it’s the combination of the depth of these characters with the idea they show that you can be a brown or black girl who is smart and beautiful.

With creating more different Disney princesses, we see the progression that has being made by Disney from the typecasts of years past where their princesses had only blond hair and white skin, not to mention who were damsel in distress waiting for a strong princess to come to the rescue.

Today, not only do we see pretty different Disney princesses that are created in different ethnicities and shades, they also have different dynamics, strength, aspirations, and family settings. Simply put, we see how Disney has grown to show characters that more kids can identify with as our country and the world continues to be more diverse.

That is not to say that the different Disney princesses we see today represent everyone. There are numerous untold stories that they haven’t gotten around to. I’m sure that we will continue to see more inclusiveness and expansion in their characters down the road in the near future.

The Comeback of Coloring Books (Including the Ones for Adults!)

You may be astonished to know that three of Amazon’s top 10 bestselling books in 2015 were adult coloring books for adults. If you don’t believe it, Google it. The three coloring books for adults that made the list are:

  • Enchanted Forest: An Inky Quest & Coloring Book
  • Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book
  • Adult Coloring Book: Stress Relieving Patterns

You might believe that selling thousands of adult coloring books looks like a new trend. You’d be wrong. Adult coloring books made The NYT 1962 Bestsellers List. Barbra Streisand was encouraged to sing a song about them.

The big difference is that adult coloring books in the 1960s had political ideas. Today, adult coloring books ensures stress relief and relaxation. The New Republic had an article headlined, “The Fundamental History Adult Coloring Books of the 60s.”

Crayola is also getting in on it the latest trend. There’s nothing like opening a new box Crayons. Recently, Crayola presented its first line of adult coloring books in its history of being around for over 112 years. Rightly called Color Escapes, Crayola’s line claims specified coloring pages designed for adults. These adult versions of the children’s classic are geared to be about themes like patterns and nature.

Coloring in these books lets you concentrate on the present instead of pondering about the worries of the world.

Coloring books have helped a lot of people, including a large number of adults from young to seniors, have more positivity in their lives. NPR asked their listeners if they liked to color, and thousands said yes. One listener said they were in the hospital for a few weeks. Thy used adult coloring books to be in a world without the fluorescent lights and sterile rooms.

Fun And Games In The Backyard

Got a grumpy or bored kid in your home? Take ’em outside! Some sunshine and fresh air goes a long way toward making a little frown turn into a smile. No need to go far to get the smiles going again. Outdoor activities are wonderfully doable right in your yard or neighborhood.

There is a thrill, no matter what age you are, in staying up past your bedtime. It’s my favorite thing to do with my kids, particularly on warm summer nights when we have a fire and make s’mores. Sometimes we’re even indulged with a twinkling of fireflies. Magical doesn’t even come close to explaining these nights. This summer, use any reason to stay out late and play under the stars.

Movies alfresco
Our local park has outdoor summer movies, so we’re going to catch a few of those. I’m also going to use my projector and put a sheet off the deck so we can have our own yard movie fest.

Night hiking
The element of danger that goes with exploring at night makes even the most everyday destinations exciting, regardless if you’re searching the backyard or your neighborhood. Want to really impress your children? Get headlamps!

Pick up some glow sticks and you can have all kinds of fun. Glow bracelets make for a fun time of ring toss and are necessary accessories for backyard games.

Playing in the dark
At night, ordinary games take on a new feeling. Hide and seek or tag in which the seeker has a flashlight are super exciting. Pair smaller kids with adults to avert freak-outs.

The aftermath
As great as these nights are, there’s typically a price to be paid the next day. Be sure to plan a low-key morning, such as lying on the couch and watching cartoons.

Where To Donate Old Toys

Regardless if you’re cleaning or trying to reduce post-holidays clutter, donating used toys can aid in clearing out your home and do something wonderful at the same time. Making those toys cleaned, assembled, and working is the 1st step, after which you need to get a place that take toy donations.

By researching your choices for donating toys, you can work with your family to pick a way to donate or a certain cause that is most worthy of your donation. You don’t have to pick just one. Divide up your donations to a couple of various causes if you can’t pick just one.

Toy Donation Choices

  1. Resell Charities
    Charity thrift stores such as The Salvation Army take toys and then put them on the store floor for others to purchase. Any monies they get from the sale of the toys is put back into programs that help the needy right in your own community. it’s a good way to make sure that families have access to low-priced toys while aiding to keep funds in your own neighborhood.
  2. Local Shelters and Children’s Centers
    If you have a shelter or children’s charity in your community, there’s a great chance that it takes toy donations. After all, children will be children, and kids who visit shelters can be more at ease when there are toys to play with. You just need to phone ahead, as some charities won’t take toy donations.
  3. Preschools and Nurseries
    A local for-profit nursery or preschool may not be an exempt organization, so donating there won’t get you a deduction on your taxes. Still, it’s an unselfish gift if you’ve observed that a preschool is in need of some slightly used toys. Just be sure phone before you take in a donation, as there may be some rules to toy donations.


Collectible Toys for Children

Collectible toys for children have special editions on many of the most famed characters from movies, TV, and video games, creating items that even children will want to cherish. As a kid, when you’re a devotee of a specific character, there’s nothing like having the authorized toy to play with, and soon, you want to be able to own all the authorized colleagues from your favorite series. These exclusive toys re-imagine forms of well-known icons in extraordinary shapes like action figures, dolls, or soft plush toys, inventing even more possibilities for playtime.

Since some of these special releases were produced with the help of famous artists, they are just as attractive to adults as they are to children.

LEGO Building Sets Collectible Toys

With numerous LEGO sets available, you can pick from an assortment to start your collection. Pick a theme like Star Wars LEGO or another popular one from movies and books, such as the Harry Potter LEGO set.

Barbie Collectible Toys

Barbie has been a continual in kids’ lives since the 50s when the doll first was in the stores. In current times, she is just as much a popular for toy collectors of all ages. Pick one from your childhood, like the Pink and Pretty Barbie from the 80s. Another choice is to collect all of the Barbie Career or Holiday Barbie dolls. You can even find Barbie as other characters such as Beyoncé Barbie.

Lionel Trains Collectible Toys

Trains have always been well-liked with collectors and Lionel trains are among the elite. These sets have been around for numerous years, with new designs and pieces being created. Early models were crafted of wood and are often a valued addition to a collection. Accessories that match the trains are also extremely collectible, like the coal elevator and water tower.

Health Benefits of Board Games

What your child mostly needs and wants is to be with you with no aim in mind beyond the joy of spending time with you. He wants you to have fun with him, play with him, and listen to him. Nothing strengthens his self-esteem more!

So why not get out an old board game? Playing games is a good way to spend pleasurable time together. As a bonus, board games are also good in learning opportunities. They gratify your child’s competitive urges and the need to master new skills and concepts, like:

  • Number and shape recognition, counting
  • Reading and letter recognition
  • Color recognition and visual perception
  • Eye-hand coordination

Games don’t need to be academic to be educational. Just by playing them, board games can demonstrate important factors, like sharing, waiting, communicating verbally, taking turns, and appreciating interaction with others.

Board games can nurture the capability to focus, and increase your child’s attention span by boosting the completion of an exciting, fun game. Even simple board games such as Candyland provide messages and life skills. Your luck can change quickly, for the better or for the worse. The message inbuilt in board games is this: Never give up! Just when you feel hopeless, you might hit the jackpot and ascend upward. But only if you remain in the game for just a few more moves.

Board games have clear boundaries. Living in an intricate society, children need pure limits to feel safe. By restricting the playing field, like tennis courts and football fields, board games can aid your child unite his wild and erratic side into a more mature, organized, and socially acceptable personality. After all, staying in the boundaries (not encroaching on others’ space) is critical to having a successful social and academic life.

Chess for Children

A healthy body and mind contribute significantly in shaping the future of a child. Unless the child is forced to practice mental exercises, as well as physical exercises, as he gets older, he will ultimately have issues like forgetfulness, loss of concentration, or other mental disorders as he grows old.

Board games like Chess significantly aid in increasing the muscles of the brain since they involve different parts of the brain and engrossing in these board games straightforwardly contributes towards the perfecting of the brain.

For long, chess has been contemplated as a game played only by smart folks and people with critical thinking capabilities. The fact is that chess can be played by folks of all age groups and mind sets. Chess is very helpful in brain development, principally when it is played regularly at a very early age. Mentioned below are some of the most significant benefits that children can get by playing chess on a regular basis.

  • Playing the game of Chess on a consistent basis right from the childhood develops the learning, thinking, analytical power, and decision-making capability of the child.
  • Chess makes the child learn to strategize parts of the game and life. Also, a child can learn the significance of foresight and planning.
  • Playing the game of chess on a regular basis right from an early age teaches the meaning of being disciplined in life.
  • Practicing chess habitually also helps in cultivating the self-confidence of the child, which is very essential for the child’s growth.

In the game of chess, a child learns to do a complete research, analysis, and assessment of the situation before generating any decision. Such an exercise offers mental clarity to the child. Mental dexterity and mental clarity is expected for solving problems, analyzing consequences, and formulating future tactics.


How to Use eBay Effectively

Buying and selling on eBay can be a challenge, the site is huge. But it also gets a lot of traffic, so if you’re looking for some collectible items or wanting to sell some extra things in your collection – eBay is definitely a place to start.

Why chose eBay? Use them for selling things that are easy to ship, not for things that people will really want to pick up and look at before buying.

Use the right keywords, and a lot of them! You want people to find your stuff. Describe your items honestly. Take excellent pictures and as many as you need. Conversely, if you’re looking to buy, make sure there are a lot of pictures and a thorough description of the item you are buying.

Set the right price for your items. Browse other listings to see if you are in the right ballpark, do the same while buying. Set the right shipping price that includes insurance. Being honest and straightforward about shipping is critical, and you want your item to get to the new buyer all in one peice. When you are buying a collectible, make sure shipping is described. Get insurance if you think you need to.

Make sure you respond to customer inquirers. And if you are buying, make sure all your questions get answered in a timely fashion. Good customer service is key and will bring in returning sales for you.

eBay can be a great resource for you to buy and sell collectible items, read and do your research and it will be a benefit to your collections.

Collecting Vintage Signs

Old, vintage signs are a highly sought after collectible. Some of these signs can fetch a lot of money, especially if the company changed their logo over the years. Old metal signs from Pepsi or Coca-Cola are very popular as a resale item or even to just display in your home.

Finding old signs can be a bit of a challenge, though. Reproductions have gotten quite good, so it’s a little harder to tell if a sign is vintage. Antique malls and stores are a good start. Be aware that if the sign is too cheap, it may be either a great find or a cheap reproduction – do your research.

Flea Markets are also a great place to look for signs. It’s possible the seller is just trying to get rid of stuff and may not be aware of the value of the sign. Plus, you never know what you may find in the piles!

And of course you can search online on sites like eBay. You won’t be able to inspect the sign, and you’ll need to ask a lot of questions, but this can be a great way to find old, vintage signs.

Displaying your collection is the fun part. Hang signs on walls, out by your garden, and if it has lights even better. Old gas station signs are popular, as well as soda pop and dime store signs. Collect what you like, not just for the monetary value, so you can enjoy looking at your items every day.